A new-look version of one of the Lompoc Valley’s oldest agricultural businesses is set to make its debut.
Lompoc Beans, a retail store that will offer locally grown beans, is slated to open as soon as this month at 524 W. Ocean Ave., according Gerry Campbell, who co-owns the business with her husband, Bob.
The new storefront will essentially be a spiritual successor to Lompoc Valley Seed and Milling, which had been in operation since the 1950s before being shut down this summer by the Campbells, who had run that business since 2006.
Gerry Campbell said Friday that the owners were targeting Friday, Aug. 30, for the new store’s opening, which would make the beans available to Labor Day visitors.
“We’ve been moving everything over here trying to get set up,” she said.
Bob Campbell announced the closure of Lompoc Valley Seed and Milling in February, citing the downturn of the dry bean industry as one of the main causes.
Unlike that operation, which cleaned, packaged and shipped up to 14 million pounds of seeds per year at its height, the new Lompoc Beans will strictly be a retail store.
Most of the beans offered for sale will be locally grown, Gerry Campbell said. Among the bean varieties slated to be available at the store are yellow, pinquito, black, Christmas lima and fava.
“Some of them we bring in from another warehouse, but we grow the majority of the beans that we sell,” Gerry Campbell said.
Bob Campbell, who was named the Lompoc Valley's man of the year in 2017 by the Lompoc Chamber of Commerce, said in February that he and his family would consider opening a retail-only business in the future, but they hadn’t made any decisions at that time.
"We’re kind of thinking about that and running the numbers as we speak,” he said in February.
Gerry Campbell noted Friday that the outpouring of support they received after announcing the closure of Lompoc Valley Seed and Milling — local chefs and international clients were among those who expressed sadness about the shuttering — played a role in the birth of Lompoc Beans.
“We got to thinking there’s a lot of people that like their yellow beans and their pinquito beans, so we thought we’d give it a try just having a retail store,” she said. “We’re no longer gonna be cleaning the beans. We’ll have to send them off to get cleaned, but we’ll be selling them.”
For more information on the new business, visit https://lompocbeans.com/.
Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.
Get local news delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.